Welcome to the Essence Program

(ESSENCE) Encouraging Student Scholarship & Excellence through Native-Centered Education

Welcome to The ESSENCE Program

The ESSENCE Program is a 501c3 not-for-profit supplemental educational service that seeks to strengthen the academic performance of students in K-12 Louisiana public and charter schools by using information about the life, history, and culture of African American Louisiana as foundation for direct student instruction and teacher professional development

Our Mission

ESSENCE provides a forum for teachers to collaboratively produce lesson plans based on native-centered content, which aligns with Louisiana’s comprehensive curriculum for science, math, English Language Arts, and social studies. ¬†ESSENCE also supports direct instruction to students through after school and summer school programs.

Our History

ESSENCE launched in 2005 with a grant from the Louisiana Board of Regents. Gwendolyn Midlo Hall, Professor Emeritus at Rutgers University, delivered the program’s first keynote address.